Stephen Miller and the Theater of Outrage

Andrew Donaldson

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I don’t know whether to think of Stephen Miller as Joseph Goebbels or Salacious Crumb.Report

  2. Avatar Morat20 says:

    The focus on Miller leaves other people off the hook. I somehow doubt Miller is the only one that supports this — Sessions is being unusually full-throated in his support, and Kelly’s past statements are pretty indicative of where he lies.Report

    • Miller is definitely not the only one supporting it, but he seems to be the prime mover of a lot of it, and especially the tone and roll out of it. There is quite a bit out there that the original “crying child” pic that came out and started a lot of the current controversy was pushed out by Miller himself. Plenty of blame to go around, but Miller is a good place to start.Report

  3. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    Sigh. This week a conservative friend started linking to pieces in The Federalist about liberal outrage and how it was such a terrible thing.

    I’m not going to link to it, you can find it by searching “federalist liberal outrage”. Meanwhile Miller and his kind troll, and stoke counter-outrage.

    Miller isn’t the only one who thinks that whenever the people are thinking immigration, they are winning. Bannon thinks that, too.

    I keep reminding myself that this happened in CA 20 years ago, and the result was that CA is now deep blue. In spite of it being solidly red in the 80s.Report

    • People foolishly thought that Bannon’s firing would signal a modulation by Trump, but that was laughable as long as Miller was in place. McMay’s linked piece does a good job going through the history of how Miller-through Sessions-brought the immigration as banner to fight under to Trump in the first place.

      I agree with your first point, I am beyond done with this childish notion that outrage by any side somehow justifies the actions and responses of the other.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      I keep reminding myself that this happened in CA 20 years ago, and the result was that CA is now deep blue. In spite of it being solidly red in the 80s.

      I cannot imagine this not killing the GOP’s already poor numbers among Hispanics. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if they end up voting as reliably Democratic as blacks do, and for pretty much the same reason.

      If you can look at this mess (the act, the defenses, and ye gods the comments from the average supporter of this mess!) and think “Oh, well, they wouldn’t do this to the good brown people — you know, citizens and legal immigrants” you’re deluded.

      It’s not about illegal immigration — you notice this isn’t on the Canadian border, or that ICE isn’t grabbing people on expired visas — this is pretty much an extension of now-pardoned Arapio’s outright crusade against the non-white.

      And the GOP’s response to this has been terrifying. It might be Miller’s plan or Trump’s orders doing this, but the GOP is completely complicit in this.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Morat20 says:

        There was a recent piece in Slate claiming that the admin is stepping up effort to de-naturalize people who have been here for years but have some sort of infraction.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to greginak says:

          They could start with Melania, who IIRC overstayed her visa.

          I mean if you’re serious about it, you should show no one is above the law.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to greginak says:

          Whats really stupid is that most of these people are waiver eligible. So they get denaturalized, put in removal proceedings, apply for a 237 waiver, keep their green card, and re-naturalize five years later.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    At this point we need to just concede that Trump, Miller, Sessions, and the rest are true believers in their cause. They aren’t going to back down or change policy in the face of mounting public pressure. Miller has a near lifetime of trolling liberals that stretches back to middle or high school according to reporters. Trump’s views on race are well known and even older.

    Today Trump tweeted about how immigrants are an “infestation.” This is precariously close to “nits cause lice” as an argument and very dangerous and very racist.

    So it is hard for me to say that people shouldn’t be outraged by this and the best call for action is decorum and restraint. This is the rhetoric and actions of fascism that they are using. Along with the revelation yesterday that ICE officials say they are taking the kids “for a bath” before taking them away.

    I also don’t see the 11th dimensional chess that Miller is allegedly playing.

    Semi-OT but I’ve been looking at photos of Trump. I find his gestures and expressions repulsive but they clearly have a dark charisma and connection to his supporters. He has a very jocular “amirite?” kind of pose when discussing immigration and using flame-throwing language.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The United Methodist Church brought charges yesterday against Jeff Sessions for violation of church law. Per the article, the max punishment is explusion, but basically, historically, this procedure has never gone beyong a talking to by the regional authority for the church.Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The part of Trump’s NFIB speech today where he talks about judges gives away the game.

    starts at about 18 minutes

    “I don’t want judges, I want border security. I don’t want to try people, I don’t want people coming in”

    edit: also a riff on judges at about 15:15 “we have to have a real border, not judges”Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

      (the Ted Cruz immigration proposal is to double the number of immigration judges from 375 to 750. So who the heck knows where Trump is getting his ‘thousands of judges’ thing from)

      (I mean, it’s likely the usual place, but there’s usually some penumbra of some policy that floated from the far corners of the media-political verse that his utterances, though twisted, are based on)Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

      It’s pretty obvious that Trump clearly thought the President was a dictator, and is currently very mad this isn’t the case.

      The loving way he sucks up to dictators, praises them, talks about how he wishes America was like that is a big clue. it was also pretty clear way back during the primary that the man believed all the conspiracy theories about Obama’s dictatorial actions, and his whining about the DoJ makes it obvious he believed he should be using it (and the FBI) as his own thugs.

      So this is just another tantrum the President is throwing because he’s not a dictator — although he is highlighting a number of places the American system has relied on “President being sane and interested in public reaction” rather than “laws”.Report

  7. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    What this should also put to rest, is the idea that there is a legitimate political position by the Trump Administration and its supporters.

    That is, there is no intent here to make America a better place for all, or to pursue the founding principles.

    Instead this is pure blood and soil nationalism, ethnic tribalism run amok.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      So who’s the first supposed classical liberal who will Tweet about how this is the end of civility and proves the Left is Just as Bad?Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Jesse says:

        The silver lining is that it is becoming obvious to all but the most oblivious and/or disingenuous that we are past the point of civility. Sure, some people responded to Trump looking at self-professed Nazis and seeing a lot of good people with “well, I don’t personally agree, but that is a valid position to take.” But now these people have to respond to open child abuse the same way. America has a long history of having more sympathy for Nazis that we openly admitted. But child abuse is a tougher sell.

        Also, this may (and certainly should) push those people who imagine themselves to be above the fray into voting Democrat in the fall.Report